Ten questions with...

Vinny McCormack, Fianna Fáil, Athlone

Vinny McCormack, Fianna Fáil, Athlone

Vinny McCormack, Fianna Fáil, Athlone

1. Why are you running?

I am running so that I can continue the work that I have been doing for the people of my area over the past number of years. People in rural Ireland are being ignored and are having their services stripped away piece by piece. I want to be someone to stand in the way of this and help to bring about improvements.

2. What’s the big issue in your area?

The threat posed by industrial windfarms is of major concern at the minute. People are very worried about the effects of having turbines up to 185 metres high situated so close to their homes. The terrible quality of rural broadband access, the threat to small schools and the closures of rural Garda stations and post offices are also of major concern to people.

3. Describe yourself in three words

Hard-working. Determined. Single-minded.

4. What person do you admire the most?

John Hume. A wonderful peace-maker who stuck to his beliefs, even at times when it must have seemed like a lost cause.

5. Can local councillors make a difference?

Yes, more so than ever I believe. With people now being forced to pay a local property tax there is a huge onus on county councillors to make sure that this money is not allowed to be swallowed up by the Government and is instead returned to the local economy to the benefit of local communities. This extra revenue can also allow county councils to reduce commercial rates on businesses struggling to survive.

6. If you could only get one project done in your area in the next few years, what is it?

Without doubt it would be to provide high speed fibre broadband to all of our rural communities. There is a major urban-rural divide on this issue. It must be a priority to solve this problem in the very near future.

7. What do you enjoy the most about politics?

Being able to come back to people with good news in regard to an issue that you have solved on their behalf. It makes the work very worthwhile when you can make a small difference to people’s lives.

8. What might people not know about you?

I am a bit of a sports fanatic. I play a bit of football for Ballymore, I also try and get in a round of golf whenever I can get the time, and I am a Newcastle United fan.

9. What are you expecting to hear on the doorsteps?

I am expecting to hear people’s concerns on issues such as water tax, property tax as well as more localised issues. I am hoping to hear encouragement that I am the right person to represent the area and deliver for the area over the next five years.

10. If you had a theme tune for your campaign what would it be and why?

Well Robbie Williams sang “Let me entertain you” so I suppose I could adapt that to “Let me represent you”.

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